Organisation : ONDRAF-NIRAS

Belgium

Status of Implementation

  •  ONDRAF/NIRAS does not have an operational solution yet for the long-term management of the radioactive waste which it takes charge of, but a solution has been chosen at institutional level for low-level waste.
  • Low-level waste: On 23 June 2006, the Council of Ministers opted for the surface disposal of this waste on the territory of the municipality of Dessel as part of an integrated project. On 31 January 2013 ONDRAF/NIRAS submitted a license application for the surface disposal project to the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC). (cAt-project)
  • High-level and/or long-lived waste: No institutional policy has yet been validated in Belgium for the long-term management of this type of waste. In its Waste Plan (in accordance with the law on the strategic environmental assessment) submitted to the government in September 2011, ONDRAF/NIRAS recommends (Waste Plan, 2011):
    • geological disposal
    • in poorly indurated clays
    • in a single facility
    • on Belgian territory
    • as soon as possible, the pace of development and implementation of the solution being proportionate to its scientific and technical maturity, as well as to the public support it receives.
  • RD&D on geological disposal in poorly indurated clays has been going on for (over) 40 years. To this end, an underground research laboratory (HADES) was built in Boom Clay and is currently operated by EURIDICE (Economic Interest Grouping between SCK.CEN and ONDRAF/NIRAS). A large-scale and long-term heater experiment, called PRACLAY, is scheduled to begin in 2014.  (EURIDICE )
  • Dismantling and remediation: the Belgian Government entrusted ONDRAF/NIRAS with managing nuclear liabilities (BP1 (ex-Eurochemic), BP2 (ex-Waste department of SCK·CEN), SCK·CEN, IRE (Fleurus), and since 2012, due to bankruptcy, Best Medical Belgium S.A. (Fleurus)).

Target Geologic Formation: Argillaceous formations

Earliest In-Service Date: 2035-2040